Many people are confused by Mormonism. The religion sounds a lot like Christianity, but there are some very major differences between the two. Most Mormons are generally good people. They're nice neighbors, they're kind individuals, and they have a genuine desire for a real connection with God. Unfortunately, they've fallen into the trap of a false belief system. Because of that, they don't have a real Christian understanding of God's nature, Jesus, or how to get salvation. Let's take a closer look at the basics of Mormon beliefs to try and identify places where Mormon teachings are distinctly different from the teachings found in the Bible. Some of them go directly against biblical scriptures. Others sound similar, but distort the meaning.
What Is Mormonism?
Mormonism is a relatively new religion. It was founded by man named Joseph Smith less than 200 years ago. Smith claimed that God the Father and Jesus Christ visited him and told him that all the churches in the world and their creeds were an abomination that God detests. Smith then went on what he believed was a mission to “restore true Christianity” and to found what he believed to be the only true church on earth: The Church of Latter Day Saints.
What Do Mormons Believe?
There are lots of teachings in Mormonism that disagree with what the Bible says. While some of the beliefs associated with Mormonism sounds like Christianity, the two religions are actually very different from one another. For example, the both involve God, Jesus, and the Bible. For this reason, many people think Mormonism is simply another Christian denomination. That's not the case at all. Mormons believe that God and Jesus visited the 14-year-old Joseph Smith to reveal to him some of the hidden secrets of the ages.
Because of the teachings that were supposedly revealed only to Smith, Mormons have a lot of beliefs that relate to things never mentioned in the Bible. They believe in several different holy books, three of which were written by Smith. In those three books, teachings related to different kingdoms in the afterlife, teachings related to God as a former human, and teachings related to a different path to salvation than the one outlined in the New Testament make it clear that this is not actually Christianity.
Do Mormons Believe in the Bible?
Mormons do believe in the Bible, but they believe that most translations of it are translated incorrectly. That also believe there are three other sources of divinely inspired words: The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price.
What Do Mormons Believe About God?
Mormons believe that God was not always a Supreme Being. They think God started out as a human who achieved His status as God through “righteous living and persistent effort.” They believe that people can also achieve the same status by living good lives, and they believe they will be rewarded in the afterlife with the attainment of godhood if they try hard enough to live perfect lives. This belief is in direction contradiction to many very specific teachings that are central to Christianity.
The Bible says: There is only one true God. (Deuteronomy 6:4;Isaiah 43:10;44:6–8). He is the only perfect being, and He has no equal. (Psalm 86:8;Isaiah 40:25). He has existed forever, and He always will. (Deuteronomy 33:27;Psalm 90:2;1 Timothy 1:17). No one created God; God is the only creator. (Genesis 1;Psalm 24:1;Isaiah 37:16). God is Spirit (John 4:24), not made of flesh and bone (Luke 24:39).God the Father is not a human being, nor was He ever human. (Numbers 23:19;1 Samuel 15:29;Hosea 11:9).
What Do Mormons Believe About Jesus?
Mormon teachings say Jesus came to Earth as a result of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary. They says Jesus is a god, but that any human can become one, too. According to Mormon teaching, a combination of faith and good works are required for salvation.
The Bible says that only God is holy.(1 Samuel 2:2). It says humans can only be made holy through faith in Him (1 Corinthians 1:2). In Christianity, Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16) and he now has the highest place of honor in Heaven (Hebrews 7:26). Jesus and God are one, so Jesus was the only man who existed before being physically born.(John 1:1–8;8:56). Jesus gave Himself to us as a sacrifice. God raised Him from the dead, and one day everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:6–11). Jesus says that it is impossible to get to heaven by our own works. Only faith in Him leads to salvation. (Matthew 19:26). It says eternal punishment is what all humans deserve for our sins, but because of God's infinite love and grace, He provided a way out. (Romans 6:23).
The only way to receive salvation is to know God and His Son, Jesus (John 17:3). Salvation is not earned by works but given to us because of our faith (Romans 1:17;3:28). Salvation is available to all sinners. (Romans 3:22).There is no path to salvation aside from faith. (Acts 4:12).
What Do Mormons Believe About the Afterlife?
According to Mormon belief, there are four different kingdoms in the afterlife. They believe there is a celestial kingdom, a terrestrial kingdom, a telestial kingdom, and outer darkness. Which level a person goes to when they die depends upon their beliefs and actions in their current life. This, too, directly contradictions very clear biblical teachings.
The Bible tells us that after death we go to heaven or hell based on whether or not we had faith in Jesus Christ, not on how we lived. After death, Christians are with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6–8). People who don't believe in Jesus experience hell or go to sheol, the place of the dead. (Luke 16:22–23). At the second coming of Christ, we will all receive new bodies. (1 Corinthians 15:50–54). Believers will experience a new Heaven and a new Earth. (Revelation 21:1), Unbelievers will be thrown into alake of fire (Revelation 20:11–15). Redemption after death is not possible. (Hebrews 9:27).
Are Mormons Christians?
With so many teachings that directly contradict the scriptures, it's hard to justify saying that Mormons are Christians. While Mormons do talk about God and Jesus, and they do include the Bible among the texts they believe were divinely inspired, their religion is very different from Christianity in many different ways. Many Mormons grew up in The Church of Latter Day Saints, and they don't realize that their religion is not Christianity. They have been deceived by false teachings that have confused them about what Christianity is, what it means, and what they have to do to be saved.
Many Christians have Mormon friends who don't realize that their religion is not actually Christianity. This confusion is understandable. It's a result of teachings that are based on the Bible being mixed together with teachings that are decidedly not from the Bible to create a confusing doctrine that sounds a lot like the real thing. However, when you listen closely to what the teachings are saying about God, Jesus, the path to salvation, and the afterlife, it's clear that Mormonism is not the same religion as Christianity. Many Mormons believe that they are saved because of the lives that they live. They have no idea that they have been lured into a false religion that resembles Christianity, but does not adhere to its teachings.
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